Today in LGBT History – June 8

I think being gay is a blessing, and it’s something I am thankful for every single day. —Anderson Cooper

Learning our history IS resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!

Today in LGBT History – June 8: June is LGBT Pride month!

1901, Spain — The first documented same-sex marriage in Spain in post-Roman times is performed. Marcela Gracia Ibeas and Elisa Sanchez Loriga, both teachers, are married by a parish priest in A Coruña (Galicia), with Elisa using the male identity “Mario Sánchez”. The couple was exposed by Galician and Madrid newspapers and, as a consequence, both quickly lost their jobs, were excommunicated, and were issued an arrest warrant. So that the excommunication could take place, the parish priest requested a doctor examine Mario to check if he were a man or a woman.Mario agreed. When the doctor issued his verdict, Mario attempted to pass for a hermaphrodite (intersex) whose condition had been diagnosed in London. Regardless, the marriage certificate was never officially voided. The marriage, according to the Diocesan Archive, is still valid. They moved to Portugal where they were imprisoned, tried, and later released. It is rumored that they fled to Argentina after the Spanish government demanded their extradition from Portugal. It is unknown what happened to them after that. Same-sex marriage was legalized in Spain in 2005

1945 – Donna Deitch (born June 8, 1945) is an American film, television director and writer best known for her 1985 film Desert Hearts. The movie was the first feature film to depict a lesbian love story in a generally mainstream vein, with positive and respectful themes. Her partner is writer Terri Jentz(born 1957).

1961 – Mary L. Bonauto (born June 8, 1961) is an American lawyer and civil rights advocate who has worked to eradicate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and has been referred to by U.S. Representative Barney Frank as “our Thurgood Marshall.” She began working with the Massachusetts-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, now named GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) organization in 1990. A resident of Portland, Maine, Bonauto was one of the leaders who both worked with the Maine legislature to pass a same-sex marriage law and to defend it at the ballot in a narrow loss during the 2009 election campaign. These efforts were successful when, in the 2012 election, Maine voters approved the measure, making it the first state to allow same-sex marriage licenses via ballot vote. Bonauto is best known for being lead counsel in the case Goodridge v. Department of Public Health which made Massachusetts the first state in which same-sex couples could marry in 2004. She is also responsible for leading the first strategic challenges to section three of the Defense of Marriage Act(DOMA). On April 28, 2015 Bonauto was one of three attorneys who argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodgesarguing state bans on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. This much-publicized case determined that state bans against same-sex marriage are unconstitutional and is considered one of the most important civil rights cases which came before the U.S. Supreme Court in modern history.

1975, Canada – Members of the gay rights group GATE appear before a Parliamentary Committee on Immigration in Toronto and call for dropping of all references to homosexuality in the Immigration Act. On November 6, a “Special Joint Committee on Immigration Policy recommends that homosexuals no longer be prohibited from entering Canada.In 1977, the Canadian Immigration Actwas amended, removing the ban on homosexual men as immigrants.

2015 – Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announces that the Military Equal Opportunity policy has been adjusted to include gay and lesbian military members.

Stand up, speak out, share your story!




(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at,, Lavender Effect,, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, Amara Das Wilhelm,, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at Thanks!)


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